A smart home system can make you feel like you’re living in the future. Your shades open every morning; the tea kettle starts heating before you’ve even left your bed; your security system turns on as soon as you leave the house; and you can monitor everything that goes on in your home while you’re away….
You might think there’s nothing you could improve on. But there is one way to ramp up the convenience, luxury, and cool factor of your smart home system: integration with your wearable tech.
What is wearable technology?
Wearable tech is technology that you can attach to your body like an accessory, for hands-free use. The most common example is the smartwatch, which functions similarly to a smartphone but is worn on your wrist.
Other examples include smart glasses (like the Google Glass), Bluetooth headsets, GoPros, and fitness trackers like Fitbit. But for integration with your smart home system, we’ll mostly be talking about the smartwatch.
Why should you connect your smart home to your smartwatch?
If you can already control your smart home system from a tablet or smartphone, why do you need to connect it to your smartwatch?
Aside from the futuristic thrill, the real benefits of wearable tech are safety and convenience.
For example, imagine you’re driving and you remember that the dog walker is coming this morning—but you forgot to leave the door code out for him. Your phone is being used for GPS navigation, or it’s tucked away in your work bag. With your connected smartwatch, you can easily use voice control to open the front door for the dog walker, without even lifting your hand from the wheel or clicking away from your navigation! Such distractions could have been dangerous on the road.
Having your smartwatch connected to your smart home also frees up your smartphone to be used for something else. For instance, you can use your smartwatch to adjust the temperature in your home while you’re video-chatting with your daughter on your phone.
How to connect your smart home to wearable tech
Many of the best smart home companies have made integrations with wearable tech simple. Here are a few of the ways you can connect your smart home system to your smartwatch:
Control temperature. Heatmiser has developed an app that you can use on your Apple Watch, called Heatmiser Neo. The smartwatch app has most of the functionality of the similar smartphone app, allowing you to control the temperature in every room in your house—right from your wrist.
Play music through your smart home audio system. Sonos systems can now be controlled from your Apple Watch. Though they don’t have a proprietary app, a third-party developer created an app to be used with Sonos systems, called Zoneplay.
Adjust lighting and shading. Lutron’s proprietary app, Caseta, works with the Apple Watch. You can control and program your smart shades, blinds, curtains, or lighting just as you would on their smartphone and tablet apps. Caseta even includes voice control.
Integrate with total smart home systems. If you’ve invested in a total smart home system, you should take advantage of the ability to control everything from your smartwatch:
- Control4 has introduced a smartwatch app that is very user-friendly. Because the smartwatch screen is quite small, Control4 has strategically developed it to default to your chosen shortcut controls for an uncluttered look. But you still have access to the controls you use the most.
- Savant developed Savant Pro for the Apple Watch. The beautifully designed app allows you to control temperature, lighting, security, and entertainment right from your wrist.
Is wearable technology the future?
It’s hard to say whether wearable tech is here to stay. So many of our smart home system installation clients love their smartwatches—and the ability to control everything from their wrist. Others haven’t yet jumped on board.
And some prominent companies, like Nest (acquired by Google in 2014), have announced that they’re no longer providing smartwatch integration. Their reason? Not enough users to justify the investment.
On the other hand, forecasters predict that the wearable tech industry is going to almost double in size by 2022.
As fans of all things convenient, high-tech, and luxury, we believe that wearable tech integration with smart home systems is a win-win for everybody. So, if you’re interested in connecting your smart home system in the U.K. to your smartwatch, go ahead and contact us. We’ll walk you through it.